Meet & Greet: The Goats

March 11, 2015 no comments Posted in Animals, Meet & Greet

And now we meet the goats. What would GiPop Acres be without the goats? A lot less exciting, that’s for sure. These guys are a constant source of entertainment and trouble-making. Goats, in general, tend to be a lot less skittish than other livestock (I’m looking at you sheep & alpaca) so not only do they not run away when you move towards them, most will come running to you for food, or pets, or just curiosity. I always tell people that our goats are more like dogs than livestock. Each has his or her own personality and temperament and it’s time to meet them!

The Does

We have seven does for breeding and milking. Three of the does have previously kidded and four are currently bred, due to deliver any day now. I’m sure that as soon as I post this we’ll have new goats to add 🙂 These are our does…

Pippa: along with her twin sister Poppy, Pippa is one of the last of GiPop Acres’ original herd of goats. She is an Oberhasli doe and has had one kid {Brutus}. Pippa is laid-back and calm… for a goat, that is. She does her own thing and gets along with pretty much everybody.

pippa

 

Poppy: twin sister to Pippa, last of the original herd. She is an Oberhasli doe and has had two kids {LuLu and BeeBee}. Poppy is laid-back like her sister and both of them have been great milkers for us.

poppy

 

Milli: a Nubian doe. She has had 3 kids {Aibhilin, Ciaran, and Maeve}. Milli is a great mama but she can be quite pushy and is a bit antsy on the milking stanchion. She won’t hesitate to headbutt another animal who’s in her way but she’s very sweet to people… especially those who are generous with the head scratches.

milli

 

Princess [Rosie]: usually just called Princess, her original name was Rosie but when her sister Princess was killed by coyotes she became Princess Rosie. She is a 3/4 Boer and 1/4 Nubian doe. She has not kidded yet. Princess is sort of the low man on the totem pole with the does. She’s so mild mannered; she doesn’t mind being pushed out of the way by the goats because she’s much more interested in being around people. She loves attention and will yell for us to come see her when we’re outside.

princess

 

Aibhilin [pronounced ave-leen]: born to Milli and Artie in 2014, she is a 1/2 Nubian and 1/2 Boer doe. She is easy to distinguish because the ends of her ears are folded over flat. Aibhilin is like her mama Milli in that she will jump all over you and push everyone else out of the way to get what she wants. What she wants is food. It’s always food. Otherwise, she doesn’t particularly care what you’re doing or why you’re there. If you didn’t bring food for her, you might as well not even be there.

aibhilin

 

Elsa: born to Tilli and Artie in 2014, she is a 1/2 Nubian and 1/2 Boer doe. Given the way this winter has gone, we’re starting to regret naming one of the kids Elsa. Perhaps that was a bad decision? We lost Elsa’s mom Tilli to ketosis a few days after she kidded last year so Elsa was a bottle-fed baby. Probably for this reason, Elsa is one of our friendliest goats. She yells at the top of her lungs anytime we’re outside and she’s not being petted. For an ice queen she’s very needy.

elsa

 

Anna: born to Tilli and Artie in 2014, she is a 1/2 Nubian and 1/2 Boer doe. Like her sister Elsa, Anna was a bottle-fed baby and is incredibly friendly. Unlike her sister, though, Anna had a terribly difficult time taking the bottle. It was weeks of struggle to get her to drink a full bottle unassisted and we were very worried we’d lose her. In addition to her eating struggles, she had an inverted eyelid that meant her eyelashes were scratching her cornea and inflaming her eye. So in the midst of the struggle to get her to eat, GiGi had to take her to the vet to get her eyelid clamped up so it would swell and heal properly… which is exactly as horrifying as it sounds but her eye healed and she started eating on her own. Just when we thought she was out of the woods, though, she developed a parasitic infection and had to be treated for that aggressively. She lost enough weight that we were worried again that we’d lose her. The little fighter pulled through, though, and today she’s almost as big as her sister, she’s healthy, and she’s happy to climb all over her people for loves. Anna is most definitely GiGi’s special baby <3

anna

 

The Bucks/Wethers

We have two intact bucks for breeding and three wethers (neutered males) to keep the bucks company. These are our bucks and wethers…

Jon Jon: a Nigerian Dwarf wether born to Star in 2013. Jon Jon and Roddy are by far our most skittish goats. They were born to does who were raised without much human attention so they followed their mothers’ lead in being nervous around people.

Roddy: a Nigerian Dwarf wether born to CoCo in 2013. Like Jon Jon, Roddy is pretty stand-offish. They don’t dislike people but they’re not eager to be petted or even to hang around long when people are there. They’ll happily put these misgivings aside at mealtimes, though!

dwarfs

 

Bert: a Nigerian Dwarf  wether who came to GiPop Acres in 2013 as a companion to two does and a buck…. and he’s the only one we still own 🙂 Bert is definitely the friendliest of any of the dwarfs we’ve owned. He is the low man on the totem pole in the buck barn but he doesn’t seem to mind too much being last in line. He’s sweet and always ready to say hello when we’re passing by.

bert

 

Ciaran: born to Milli and Artie in 2014, Ciaran is our young intact buck. He is 1/2 Nubian and 1/2 Boer. Ciaran is still figuring out what he’s supposed to be doing with the ladies so he hasn’t bred to any of the does yet. Ciaran is a happy boy and is quickly establishing his place high in the dominance order in the buck barn.

ciaran

 

Artie: our Boer buck, Artie has fathered 10 kids here on GiPop Acres {Brutus, LuLu, BeeBee, Bella, Boots, Elsa, Anna, Aibhilin, Ciaran, and Maeve}. Artie is the big man on campus. He’s the boss and he certainly lets everyone know. He head-butts the wethers and Ciaran to remind them who’s boss. Artie is quite sweet to people but we always have to use caution around him because those horns are huge. He can do some real damage if he decides to head-butt you when you’re unaware. Artie loves head scratches and peeing on himself. Yes, you read that right. Goat bucks urinate on themselves to cultivate a musky odor that is apparently quite appealing to the does. Goats are weird. The result of this endearing habit is that bucks STINK and have earned the entire species a reputation of smelliness. It’s really just the boys, though 😉

artie

 

And now you know the goats! We really do love these bundles of curiosity and cunning. From figuring out the mystery of how different gates keep coming unlatched, to finding the holes in the fence they’re much better at spotting than us, to learning each and every one of their personalities, the goats keep us entertained and on our toes every day. They’re not for the meek but they’re definitely worth the effort, in my opinion!

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